A Neuroscientist Explains 'Why We Snap'

Melissa Dahl interviews R. Douglas Fields, a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health, about the reasons why we sometimes snap:

Fields argues that there are nine major triggers that invoke the rage response, which he has assembled into the acronym LIFEMORTS: life and limb, as in your physical safety; and insult, meaning a verbal threat. The next six are self-explanatory: family, environment, mate, order in society, resources, tribe — you already know each of these are things you’d fight for if you felt they were in danger. The last is stopped, the idea that any animal (humans included) will ready itself to fight if it feels restrained or trapped. So for each of these nine triggers, the rage kicks in to prepare you for a potential fight, because you feel like something essential has been threatened.

These triggers evolved in our brains for a reason, and at times they give rise to defensive action that is as necessary for modern humans as it was for our early ancestors. But they can misfire, too, sometimes to violent, irreversible effect. Fields spoke with Science of Us about what happens inside the brain when we flip our proverbial lids, and how we can begin to control this impulse.

 

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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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New York Public Library Invites a Deep Digital Dive

The New York Times

NYPL Labs, started in 2011, has been known for experimental projects aimed at spurring users’ own tweaks and remixes. One scholar used its What’s on the Menu? project, which enlisted library users to transcribe its collection of 45,000 New York City restaurant menus, to create a new “data curation” of the collection. An engineer at Google has created a Google Cardboard application for its Stereogranimator, a program designed to mimic the proto-3-D effects of old-fashioned stereogram viewers.
Items from the digital collections have also found their way into projects like Urban Scratch-Off, a “map hack” that lets users scratch an aerial photograph of New York, lottery-ticket style, to reveal aerial shots of the city in 1924, and Mapping Cholera, which tracks an 1832 epidemic using geodata harvested from maps belonging to the library.

The new release will “reduce friction and make it even easier for people to get their hands on out-of-copyright material” owned by the library, Mr. Vershbow said.

 

The Hollywood Reporter's Director Oscar Roundtable

The year's most notable directors join for The Hollywood Reporter's Director Oscar Roundtable. The directors include Quentin Tarantino ('The Hateful Eight'), Tom Hooper ('The Danish Girl'), Alejandro G. Inarritu ('The Revenant'), Ridley Scott ('The Martian'), Danny Boyle ('Steve Jobs') and David O. Russell ('Joy').

 

Why Work Is so Much Easier than Love

The Book of Life, from A School of Life begins an essay on work and love this way: 

We’re a culture that’s highly attuned to what’s beautiful and moving about love; we know its high points and celebrate its ecstasies in films and songs. By comparison, work is the dull, tedious bit – the thing we have to do to pay the bills. And yet what’s striking is how often work, despite its lack of glamour, in fact turns out to be the easier, more enjoyable and ultimately more humane part of life.

 

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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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